Her GadgetMatch

Panasonic Advanced RF Facial Device: Is it worth the 499-euro price tag?

A worthy investment if you’re highly concerned about signs of aging

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The promise of beauty treatments right at the comfort of your own home is always an attractive concept. With hectic schedules and how prices for services are going up in some parts of the world, people are gearing more towards doing things themselves whenever it is most convenient. Such things now include beauty treatments.

Japanese electronics giant Panasonic is no stranger to beauty tech. They’ve released several items in the past but their recent launch in IFA is definitely something that has turned heads. The Panasonic Advanced RF Facial Device is said to take care of your premature signs of aging in the convenience of your own home. So, we decided to put it to the test.

What can RF do for you?

Radio Frequency (RF) treatments have been around for quite some time. Aestheticians have been using it on different parts of the body to tighten the skin, reduce fat, and encourage the production of collagen and elastin.

One treatment session at a clinic can run for 30 minutes to an hour. It can also set you back between EUR 80 to EUR 360 per session, depending on the clinic. While there are minor yet instant effects visible right after treatment, it takes a while to see the noticeable and longer-lasting results. You’ll need around four treatments spaced between 2-week intervals to get there. Pretty steep and can be quite a bother to one’s schedule if you’re a busy, working woman.

RF devices used in clinics are huge and some companies have tried to replicate them and make them smaller in the past. What sets Panasonic’s Advanced RF Facial Device is that it combines both radio frequency and ultrasonic waves. This means it emits both heat and vibration to tighten your skin while improving its moisture content. Recommended use is three times a week with at least a day in between each use.

Treatment at home

Turning on the device, you’ll need to wait about a minute to let it heat up. Once it’s ready, the joint RF and Ultrasonic part of the treatment will take you 12 minutes. Eight of which are used on the lower half of your face. You lift the cheeks by running the device on your jawline and from the sides of your mouth to the temples. The device will make a sound once you need to switch to focusing on your laugh line area.

Once that’s done, the Ultrasonic mode will turn off since you only need RF for your forehead. You’ll have about two minutes to work on that as well, going upwards and sideways from the center of your forehead.

The device is warm throughout the whole procedure. There’s also a steady vibration during the ultrasonic treatment for the cheeks and jawline, every time the probe touched the skin. I use my unit consistently on level three and I won’t call it painful. It’s merely uncomfortable at most. So, if you’re a newbie to RF treatments, there shouldn’t be any worries.

The device comes with its own, water-based, conductive gel. An almond-sized drop of the gel is enough to use all over the face each time. Once it runs out, you can also use your own skincare products with it. Serums and gel-type moisturizers are recommended.

With consumers getting more particular about the ingredients in skin care products and their benefits, the next concern is that we get our money’s worth out of them. I love their conductive gel as it’s definitely hydrating but it also needs to be washed off after using the device. Using my own products such as the Aeos Realive serum shortens the whole process.

I noticed that the product gets absorbed quickly with this device which is great. However, I do find myself adding more product throughout the treatment. You have to remember that the device should glide gently on your skin. Tugging is detrimental to what you want to achieve. The conductive gel makes it easier and lasts the whole treatment duration.

I’ve been using this for the past month and I always make sure to leave ample time for it in the evenings. To pass the time, I watch Youtube videos while doing the treatment.

Instant results?

After using it for the first time, I’ve noticed that my face looked rather red but lifted. Using a gua sha leaves you with the same level of redness and instant lift. A major difference is that the Panasonic Advanced RF Facial Device left my skin feeling hydrated for a longer period of time.

A month of using it consistently showed visibly less bloating on my face. And I do tend to wake up to a lot of water retention. My cheeks are plump and laugh lines are less pronounced.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

It’s quite bulky for a facial device but easy to hold and maneuver. I do love the design, though. It comes in white and looks quite minimalist. I love that despite the size, it won’t look obtrusive in your bathroom or your vanity.

At EUR 499, this device can make quite a dent in one’s pocket. However, getting RF treatments here in Germany aren’t exactly cheap. We did the math earlier and I believe this device is a worthy investment if you’re highly concerned about signs of aging. If you’re someone who wants to prevent or at least slow them down, you’d love this.

The Panasonic Advanced RF Facial Device is also for people who don’t have a lot of time to spend in beauty clinics. Getting the treatment at the convenience of your own home, at a fraction of the time it takes compared to a clinic, can make a world of difference in your schedule.

Her GadgetMatch

Why Instagram is doing the right thing by removing the like count

We need to change this ugly culture we created

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Instagram used to be a space where you can get inspiration to nourish your creativity. It was also a place to connect with people through disappearing photos and videos called Stories. However, the platform took a different turn throughout the years and became an arena — a battlefield where people show off who has the most perfect life.

People started curating their feeds to make them stand out. The age of curation dawned upon Instagrammers, bearing unto the world themes and grids to reflect the user’s personality and aesthetics. Instagram fuelled perfectionism, too.

What used to be a space to share mundane moments of your everyday life became a place where you show your glamorous life which, frankly, only happens every once in a while for most users. Admittedly, I also succumbed to the perfectionism and the pressure. I would post only the photos where I looked like I was having the time of my life. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with putting your best foot forward, right?

Increasing cases of depression and anxiety

Apparently, not everyone thinks the way I do. In a study published in 2017 by the Royal Society for Public Health in the United Kingdom, social media — particularly Instagram — is a major contributor to the increasing cases of depression and anxiety among the youth today. The rise of influencers and other people with seemingly perfect lives made a lot of users feel inadequate.

“What used to be a space to share mundane moments in your everyday life became a place where you show your glamorous life which, frankly, only happens every once in a while for most users.”

RSPH Chief Executive Shirley Cramer said, “it’s interesting to see Instagram and Snapchat ranking as the worst for mental health and wellbeing – both platforms are very image-focused and it appears they may be driving feelings of inadequacy and anxiety in young people.”

Technology companies’ response

With this worrisome situation on the youth’s mental health, companies made an effort to help through technology. There’s Android’s Digital Wellbeing feature which tracks the amount of time you spend on social media, although it still requires a conscious effort to break your social media addiction.

In the crusade against depression and anxiety caused by social media, Instagram recently made a daunting move. The social media giant has started testing the removal of like counts in some countries, removing the user’s ability to see how many likes have been racked up by a certain person in their feeds.

People in dire need of too much validation, fret not. The feature will let you still see who liked your posts. Think of it as your usual form of public affirmation, but you get it in private.

Just like our stories, only we can see who viewed and reacted. In this scenario, only we can see who liked our posts. While this recent move can put a dent on someone’s ego especially when they crave external validation, this can have real benefits for some users’ mental health.

In a country like the Philippines, where social media consumes a chunk of Filipino’s time, Instagram is a big contributor in rising cases of mental illnesses plaguing today’s youth like the common cold.

The social media age has created a culture where people value their smartphones, social media accounts, and the content they create rather than socializing offline and establishing real-life connections. The youth measure their self-worth through likes and other forms of metrics that it’s taking a toll on their mental health.

If this is the ugly culture we developed, Instagram is doing the right thing of removing the like count. At the very least, they can stop other people from comparing their worth and relying on external validation to feel better.

“I personally don’t mind if the feature comes here or not, but I’m sure a few of my friends would care.” — Patricia Medina, a medical practitioner in the Philippines

However, some people won’t be able to accept the upcoming feature should it arrive in the Philippines, similar to how we all panicked when Instagram removed our ability to see the viewers of our stories after 24 hours. Despite the outcry, we adapted and got used to it.

Likes are not the only measure of influence

It may be hard to believe, but Instagram is on the right track. Aside from tackling mental health and fixing the problem their app posed in our society, they’re reshaping the marketing and advertising industry. Some influencers might be affected by the like count removal, particularly those who buy fake likes and followers, as well as those who became walking billboards for brands and agencies.

But for content creators like Ceej Tantengco, removing the like count won’t have much of an impact, rather it will reinforce her influence among her audience. “The brand partnerships I tend to get are with sustainable fashion and brands running women empowerment campaigns. These brands are less about pure numbers and more about connecting with brand ambassadors who truly share their cause and can speak about it with sincerity,” Tantengco said.

“The chase for likes has led to a sort of cookie-cutter templating of content based on what the algorithm rewards or what is easiest to generate likes. We live in a world where a selfie gets 800+ likes and a photo of what book the person is reading gets only 50. But like-bait content isn’t always the most thoughtful, and we need to be careful to not equate the number of likes to whether the brand message was communicated effectively,” Tantengco added.

On the other hand, Castro Communications PR Director Janlee Dungca is unbothered by the like count removal. Dungca, who works primarily with content creators and influencers, will still approach a campaign based on a brand’s goals and objectives. Likes aren’t the only form of visible metrics available since comments still count as a way to measure engagement rate.

Macro-influencers — accounts with more than 100,000 followers — tend to have higher reach but lower engagement, thus she opts for micro-influencers whose accounts range from 10,000 to 50,000 followers to get higher engagement for the brand.

“We live in a world where a selfie gets 800+ likes and a photo of what book the person is reading gets only 50.” — Ceej Tantengco

With this sudden change in the marketing landscape, people — not just influencers — might be more keen on engaging with other people through comments. People might start to make an effort to share their thoughts and interact, rather than just dropping an emoji of fire, heart, or a star-eyed face.

Additionally, people might not be as conscious of what they post anymore. Tantengco affirmed, “this move is great for people with advocacies because we can speak about them without worrying so much about ‘how do I package this to get the maximum number of likes’ and just say what we want to say. This feels very freeing.”

Moving forward, we might start to see posts of what people really care about again should Instagram proceed with removing the like count forever. There will be people though who will try to game the algorithm by leaving comments on each other’s posts and uploading video clips instead of still photos for validation as Instagram has not said anything about removing the view count.

Nonetheless, the future is bright for Instagram. I can’t wait to see moments where people embrace their natural selves and flaunt the things they’re passionate about again.

Illustrations by MJ Jucutan

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Her GadgetMatch

Apple Card under investigation for gender discrimination

It’s biased against women

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Gender equality is a tacky issue among tech companies especially with accusations of discrimination becoming more frequent in the recent years. Microsoft and Google have been accused in the past for discriminating against women. Now, it’s Apple’s turn.

This began when developer David Heinemeier Hansson tweeted that his Apple credit card line was 20 times higher than his spouse even though they filed joint tax returns. His wife also has a better credit score and has had credit in the US longer than him.

Hansson blames the higher credit line to Apple’s biased algorithms. Tech companies often use algorithms for automating tasks, but they are also prone to bias. In this case, Apple used algorithms to determine how much credit a person would receive.

After finding out the bias, he reached out to Apple’s customer service. The reply is worse than the incident itself, with representatives telling Hansson that they couldn’t do anything to correct the algorithm’s sexist bias.

Not an isolated case

Hansson and his wife’s Apple Card incident isn’t an isolated case. Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak reported a similar incident where he got 10 times higher credit. Other people dismissed the incident, saying that their spouse got the same credit as theirs.

New York’s Department of Financial Service already said that it will investigate the incident and Apple Card. Goldman Sachs, the provider of Apple card, is under investigation as well. In response, they denied that their algorithms discriminate against women. Apple has not yet provided any public statement regarding the incident.

The incident is a first for Apple Card. Launched in early 2019, Apple promised that it will provide a simpler way to manage finances. It’s made of titanium and managed through the Wallet app.

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How to pack for a day hike

Here are the essentials you need

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I’m not a light packer. I often go on trips carrying a suitcase with more than just my essentials. Us girls can be extra so it’s difficult when we’re challenged to pack what’s only needed.

Surprisingly, I managed to pack light for a day hike. However, some people still find it difficult to pack just the essentials, so here are some tips to consider.

Be prepared in case it rains

The weather is erratic and it’s best to be ready in case it rains during a hike. Put your essentials in a lightweight yet waterproof medium-sized day bag. If you have trust issues, put your phone in a zip and lock bag, in case the water seeps in.

L.A. Girl Brow Pomade (Dark Brown), Osprey Daylite, Travelon waterproof smartphone pouch

Another thing to protect from the elements — aside from your gadgets — is your eyebrows. Make sure your eyebrows are on fleek and would stay that way, even if it rains. Beauty is everything. Use a water-resistant brow pomade.

Make sure your energy bank is full

Hiking means spending long hours on the trail before you reach the summit. Make sure you stuff your tummy with trail food to keep yourself energized. For instance, high-energy food such as protein bars, nuts, and sweets make for perfect trail food.

Nagaraya cracker nuts, Nalgene water bottle, Snickers protein bar

Don’t forget to bring a water bottle which you can refill with fresh water along the way.  A wise woman named Mimiyuuuh once said, “Drink your water, bitch.” and I couldn’t agree more. Stay hydrated.

Gear up and secure your safety

Hiking gear is expensive. However, it doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune just to go on a hike. There are light and easy trails for beginners which doesn’t require you to gear up. Make sure to research about the mountain you’ll hike so you know what to pack.

GymShark Energy+ Seamless Leggings, Merrell Siren Edge Hiking Shoes, Fila 6 Panel Classic Cap, GymShark Ultra Seamless Sports Bra

On some occasions, you only need a pair of hiking shoes (or sandals) and clothes that pass as OOTD, too. During my first hike in Mt. Maculot in Cuenca, Batangas, I wore a sports bra and extra tight pants to avoid any wardrobe malfunctions. It’s best to wear something comfortable, but make sure it’s hike-appropriate.

The real must-haves

What’s an adventure without a photo? Any travel should be documented either through a camera or a smartphone. We know you’re taking shots for your Instagram account.

Romoss Sense 6 20000mAh, iPhone 11 Pro, GoPro Hero 7, Fujifilm X-A7

During the hike, you’ll be using your phone on maximum brightness while you constantly take photos and videos. Your phone would run out of juice before the day ends. Don’t forget to bring an extra battery for your camera or better yet, a power bank.

Don’t forget your to-go kits

When going on a hike, you need to channel your inner girl scout. Emergencies — and accidents — might happen. Take a couple of band-aids and basic medicine. Lastly, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, and wet tissue are non-negotiables in any hike. You need to freshen up after a day of sweat!

Purell hand sanitizer, Campsuds outdoor soap, NATURE REPUBLIC – By Flower Triple Mousse Tint, LUSH Emotional Brilliance, Dr. Bronner’s All-One Toothpaste, LA. Girl Inspiring Brow Kit, Sanicare Bamboo wipes

Of course, make sure you have at least a compact powder with a mirror, a lip tint, and an eyebrow kit so you can look fabulous even after hiking. Again, beauty is everything.

SEE ALSO: LG Pra.L’s Galvanic Ion Booster makes your skincare products more effectiveMoments: Mt. MaculotI took photos of North Korea using my iPhone

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